Media Classic: Tri-Cities girls shoot past Yakima

March 19, 2012 by  

YAKIMA, Wash. — It was mentioned after Sunday’s Media Classic girls game that Tri-Cities had shot the ball exceedingly well.

“We did?” asked coach Cheryl Holden, who had been too busy getting all her players similar amounts of playing time to notice.

Then unfolding a statistics sheet, Holden said, “Oh, I guess we did shoot it pretty well.”

Tri-Cities' Kody Easterday of Connell, left, competes for a rebound with Sydney Mercer of Prosser, left, and Lyndsay Oswalt of Granger, center, during the 2012 Media Classic inYakima Wash. Sunday, March 18, 2012. (Andy Sawyer/Yakima Herald-Republic)


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Pretty well, indeed, en route to a 103-87 victory over Yakima in Sherar Gym to become the first girls team in the 23-game classic history to reach the century mark.

That’s five straight wins for the Tri-Citians, who shot 46 percent from the field and 47 from 3-point range.

Angelique Whitstocken, a 5-foot-10 junior from Kennewick, was named the game’s MVP after sharing scoring honors with teammate Colette Gall of Hanford. Each scored 14 points, with Whitstocken connecting on both of her 3-point attempts and also grabbing five rebounds.

Yakima’s scoring was nicely balanced with five players in double digits, led by Prosser’s Sydney Mercer, Granger’s Lyndsay Oswalt and Wapato’s Sammi Jo Blodgett with 12 each while Naches Valley’s Justine Benner and White Swan’s Amber Jones added 10 apiece.

Blodgett, a two-time Media Classic participant and reigning CWAC player of the year, said afterward that she’ll continue her career at Yakima Valley Community College. So did Jones, the North Central 2B player of the year and a childhood teammate of Blodgett.

“We grew up playing together pretty much, and then she went to Wapato,” Jones said. “It’ll be fun to be on the same team again.”

Blodgett will be the third member of her family to play for the Yaks, following older sister Andi Jo, who went on to Idaho State, and brother Willie.

“It kind of sucks that our high school careers are over,” she said, “but now we get to play college ball and that’s something to really look forward to. We’ve both wanted to go to the next level.”

Tri-Cities, meanwhile, played at a different level for much of the first half, rolling up a 49-29 lead before Yakima rallied to within 51-39 at halftime. Whitstocken’s 3-pointers had helped the visitors in that regard, and were a surprise to her coach.

“We told her we hadn’t seen her do that before,” Holden said. “And she said, well, I haven’t. But I can. So we told her to keep doing that.”

Yakima, however, staged a 13-5 burst to start the third quarter, getting a 3-pointer from Jones and a layup from Blodgett to move to within 56-52.

But Tri-Cities regrouped for a 28-9 surge that left it ahead 84-61 at period’s end, then fended off a couple of more Yakima rallies en route to the 100-point mark.

The visitors won despite making only 12 of 21 free throws while Yakima was 28 of 36 from the stripe.

“Getting to a hundred was awesome,” said Gall. “I’ve never been involved in a game where either team scored that many points, let alone my own. It was a blast.”

Tri-Cities’ top scorers were especially efficient, with Whitstocken, Steele, Easterday and Gall shooting a combined 22 for 33 (67 percent). Easterday, a 5-7 junior, didn’t miss in six attempts and Steele, a 5-4 junior, was 5 for 6.

But neither was Yakima without standouts, despite shooting just 34 percent.

Oswalt, working effectively inside, made 5 of 9 shots and collected a game-high seven rebounds. Mercer, a 5-10 junior, was 4 of 7, connected on her only 3-point attempt and grabbed four boards and Benner knocked down 6 of 8 free throws and hustled for five rebounds.

“It’s always more fun to win,” said Blodgett, “but it was still a neat experience to be out here playing against such good competition and getting to know a lot of new girls. We have a lot of really good players in our area, but obviously so do they.”

TRI-CITIES — Kim Gier (River View) 0-3 2-3 2, Cierra Torp (Kiona-Benton) 0-3 0-0 0, Angelique Whitstocken (Kennewick) 6-12 0-1 14, Khadidja Toure (Kamiakin) 3-8 2-3 8, Sadie Sparks (Chiawana) 3-5 0-0 6, Courtney Nelson (Kamiakin) 1-4 0-0 2, Bailey Schroeder (Kiona-Benton) 3-6 0-0 8, Delaney Hodgins (Chiawana) 2-5 3-3 7, Kody Easterday (Connell) 6-6 0-0 12, Sira Toure (Kamiakin) 4-8 0-2 8, Savanna Steele (Hanford) 5-6 0-0 12, Britney Pringle (Richland) 2-10 1-3 6, Colette Gall (Hanford) 5-9 4-5 14, Mikayla Ferenz (Walla Walla) 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 42-91 12-21 103.

YAKIMA — Paige Albrecht (West Valley) 0-4 0-0 0, Justine Benner (Naches Valley) 2-9 6-8 10, Sammi Jo Blodgett (Wapato) 4-10 3-4 12, Zimmer (East Valley) 3-5 0-0 6, Amber Jones (White Swan) 3-9 3-4 10, Vanessa Alvarez (Sunnyside) 2-3 0-0 4, Deanna Avalos (La Salle) 0-2 2-2 2, Lexi Cameron (Goldendale) 0-1 3-4 3, Marissa Caballero (Grandview) 2-6 0-0 4, Sydney Mercer (Prosser) 4-7 3-3 12, Alexis Perez (Davis) 0-3 0-0 0, Payton Parrish (Grandview) 0-3 2-2 2, Lyndsay Oswalt (Granger) 5-9 2-2 12, Jordan Rodriguez (Sunnyside) 2-7 2-3 6, Kendra Staymates (Riverside Christian) 1-3 2-4 4. Totals 28-81 28-36 87.

Tri-Cities 23 28 33 19 — 103
Yakima 22 17 22 26 — 87

3-point goals — TC 7-15 (Nelson 0-1, Gier 0-1, Schroeder 2-3, Hodgins 0-2, Whitstocken 2-2, S. Toure 0-2, Steele 2-2, K. Toure 0-1, Pringle 1-1); Yak 3-10 (Albrecht 0-2, Benner 0-1, Cameron 0-1, Mercer 1-1, Rodriguez 0-1, Blodgett 1-2, Jones 1-2). Rebounds — TC 57 (Sparks 5, Whitstocken 5); Yak 53 (Oswalt 7). Turnovers — TC 19, Yak 20. Total fouls — TC 24, Yak 18.

Filed under All, Basketball (Girls), Featured Prep Sports, Featured Stories


One Response to “Media Classic: Tri-Cities girls shoot past Yakima”
  1. DCM says:

    My intention is not to demean any of the Yakima area Girls playing on the Yakima all star team for the media classic. I am also guessing that the media selections try to include as many schools as possible and that some girls were invited but simply could not attend (Mohsenian, East Valley???) . However, it was very clear that the 2012 Yakima version of the media classic was more about representation and less about talent. There was certainly some deserving participants (Sami Jo B., Amber Jones, Justine Benner to name a few) but some of these girls simply looked like they did not belong, Davis, La Salle, Goldendale and Sunnyside were very poorly represented and probably should not have been. While the likes of Wood (Selah) Peterson (Prosser) Merkle (EV) were noticeably absent. I understand getting a variety of schools represented but I’d sure like to see the best talent on the floor next year for the Yakima team.

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